Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of lodging is provided?

HistoriCorps works with our project partners to offer free tent camping on almost all projects. Many projects are RV/trailer accessible, but there are rarely hookups available. If tent camping is not available, lodging in cabins or bunkhouses will be provided. Some projects are near or in urban areas that have hotels for those who prefer modern lodging.

What do I need to bring?

Volunteers should plan to bring their own camping gear and work clothes. Make sure what you bring is applicable to the area you’re going to. For example, folks from Louisiana who want to do a project in the mountains of Wyoming should do their research on mountain weather and terrain so they can be as prepared as possible. HistoriCorps will provide meals, tools, training, and materials. For a more extensive suggested packing list that will be applicable to most projects, check out our guide once it’s finished! (We’re still developing the best possible guide, check back in a few weeks.)

Can I volunteer if I’m under 18?

Volunteers age 14+ are welcome on HistoriCorps projects, but all minor volunteers must have an adult parent/guardian volunteering with them. Volunteering with folks from different generations is a really rewarding and educational experience. Volunteers under age 14 are not permitted to join HistoriCorps projects. Email volunteer@historicorps.org for help registering as a minor.

Can I bring my dog on a HistoriCorps project?

Dogs are generally allowed to accompany their humans to jobsites (actually, we love having dogs join us around the campfire!). However: HistoriCorps asks that all dogs be kept away from the jobsite for both human and dog safety. HistoriCorps also follows the rules and regulations of our project partner. If the project partner does not permit dogs onsite, then HistoriCorps is no exception. Please ask HistoriCorps or the project partner directly if you have any questions about whether Fido is welcome.

Am I fit enough for a HistoriCorps project?

You are the best judge of your own physical and technical ability. Though previous experience is not required for the vast majority of HistoriCorps projects, choosing a project that does not align well with your current fitness level or interests can negatively affect the project, your personal experience, and even that of your crew’s. Remember that you will be expected to work full days in the field, in variable weather conditions. For the sake of your own safety and that of your crew, it is incredibly important that the project you register for is appropriate for you, and that your abilities align with the project’s demands. It is also important for all volunteers, and most especially first-time volunteers, to read our Volunteer FAQs page before you register. Please, call us if you are not quite sure if a project is a good fit for your skills or fitness level. We may be able to suggest a project more suitable and enjoyable for you. Thank you for your understanding.

Are there showers and toilets available?

Each site is different in what it offers – from hot water to solar showers, flush toilets to latrines. Make sure to check your pre-arrival packet and ask questions!

Does Historicorps provide any type of insurance coverage for volunteers that are injured while on a project?

Historicorps recognizes that injuries are a possibility when working on projects of this nature. We appreciate the time volunteers contribute to us and provide Blanket Accident coverage to volunteers as part of our insurance program. This product is designed to provide a limited ($25,000) benefit for medical expenses, accidental death or dismemberment. The product is not designed to replace traditional insurance, so it is advisable that HistoriCorps volunteers carry their own medical coverage.

Do projects ever get cancelled?

HistoriCorps has partnered with agencies and organizations around the country to preserve more than 240 buildings. We are proud of the wonderful relationships we have developed with our project partners, volunteers, students and veterans, without whom none of this would be possible. Though HistoriCorps works very hard to ensure each project goes smoothly – often tracking logistics on a daily basis during the weeks leading up to the start date — on very rare occasions a session’s dates may be changed or cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control.  Many of you are familiar with some of these circumstances: snow, wildland fires, tropical rains, a government shutdown, bureaucratic red tape. When a situation arises where a change or cancellation of a session is unavoidable and imminent, volunteers will be notified immediately via email and phone. Volunteers often plan months in advance to participate on projects, just as we do (sometimes taking a year or more from inception to project start date), so changes or cancellations are disappointing for all of us.  We will do everything we possibly can to mitigate the situation, but we trust you understand that HistoriCorps, regrettably, is not in a position to offer our volunteers reimbursements for expenses incurred.

Can I get community service credit for volunteering with HistoriCorps?

Yes! On a typical HistoriCorps project session (Sunday-Friday), volunteers can expect to receive 35-40 community service hours, not including travel to and from the project. If you need to have your hours verified, please bring your paperwork to the project.

I can’t volunteer for a whole week-long session. Can I still participate?

In short, we’d prefer you to only register for a project if you can be there for the full session. The longer answer is, we carefully plan our work flow and anticipated scope of work based on volunteers being onsite for a full session. Having volunteers come and go is more difficult to accommodate in a construction environment, which can affect this work flow and the amount we are able to accomplish. Also, one of the best parts about HistoriCorps projects is the camaraderie that develops when volunteers are camping and working together for a full week. It’s harder for the magic to happen when volunteers are only onsite for a couple of days or hours. In some cases we may be able to accommodate shorter-term volunteers – just send us an email or call and we can chat about it.

Can I have a beer around the campfire?

There’s nothing like a cold drink after a long day of work. If you’re 21 or older and alcohol is legal where we’re camping, yes! Please drink responsibly and be considerate of your fellow volunteers and the area we’re camping in. Alcohol is not permitted on the worksite. Examples of areas that generally have restrictions on alcohol include certain Native American reservations, dry counties, and the state of Utah. Check if you’re not sure.

Can I use marijuana on HistoriCorps projects if it’s legal in the state we’re working in?

Marijuana use is not permitted on HistoriCorps projects even if it is legal in the state we are working in. Aside from safety concerns associated with intoxicants, we primarily work on federal lands, and marijuana is not legal federally

I would like to pursue a romantic relationship with one of the volunteers or staff on my project. What should I be aware of?

HistoriCorps does not prohibit romantic relationships between volunteers, and in fact, many volunteers have found a partner or spouse through participating in HistoriCorps projects. That being said, all volunteers and staff are required to adhere to HistoriCorps’ Code of Conduct, which prohibits harassment, discrimination, and related actions. Volunteers are encouraged to take steps to ensure any romance does not negatively impact their commitments to project work, contributions to group camaraderie, or personal safety.

What other restrictions should I be aware of?

Additional information about HistoriCorps restrictions: Volunteers are required to follow all federal, state and local laws while on a project. As with any job site, safety is important. Volunteers cannot be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while on the job site. In order to provide a safe job site free from potential distractions or conflicts, pets are not allowed on the job site. If you are planning to camp near the site, pets must be confined within your campsite during working hours.

My friend/partner/family member wants to come and camp with the crew, but doesn’t want to be a volunteer. Is that ok?

Customarily, we discourage having non-volunteers on HistoriCorps projects, primarily for practical reasons, as the benefits of our project partnerships (e.g. free campsites, providing water and showers, meal budget, insurance and liability, etc.) are in place for registered volunteers. Also, having non-volunteers onsite for the duration of a project can impact the camaraderie and camp culture somewhat as volunteers all eat meals together, prepared by the crew leader. Those who prefer to contribute to this aspect of the HistoriCorps can register as a Camp & Kitchen Helper on projects that offer that option. Thank you for your understanding!